Main Range Atlas

Subject: Main Range Atlas
From: Laurie & Leanne Knight <>
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2001 18:56:08 +1000
Hmmm, there is something to be said for listening to the lyrebirds
calling while sitting at camp and sipping a Margaret Semillion on the
summit of one of the peaks of the Great Dividing Range in SEQ, while
perfect Queensland weather continues.

Sat morning Tim and I drove out through Cunninghams Gap and round to
Swan Ck, on the western side of the range.  There were plenty of
bellbirds calling in the distance as well as the ubiquitious
yellow-faced honeyeaters, white-throated treecreepers and spotted
pardalotes [we didn't observe any striated pardalotes the whole weekend,
and surprisingly few grey fantails].

Swan Ck was very good parrot country - we atlassed sulphur-crested,
yellow-tailed, and glossy cockatoos, king parrots, and crimson, eastern
and pale-headed rosellas [including a mottled hybrid].

Anyhow, once we'd finished our freshly ground coffee, we shouldered our
packs and headed up to Sentinel Pt, with the main additions of
interesting being white-naped honeyeaters, brown and striated
thornbills, fan-tailed cuckoos and rose robins [the last one was at an
elevation of ~ 1000 metres].  

Sentinel Point has fantastic views of the western side of the Scenic Rim
[Cons Plain, Superbus, Roberts, Lizard, Steamers, Barney, Ballow,
Maroon, Panaroma, Asplenium, Huntley, Doubletop, Spicers ...] and is
well worth doing as a daytrip [if you don't mind a bit of
rockscrambling].  The naturalistic highlight at the point was mammalian
rather than avian - a black-footed rock-wallaby came bounding past me
while I was contemplating the view and paused before making its way down
through the cliff line.  

You can only eat so many licorice allsorts and admire the view for so
long, so eventually we followed the undulating ridge to Mt Huntley. 
>From the south-western lookout [which was the locus for the second atlas
sheet] we could hear three lyrebirds calling from the Barney Ck
catchment and saw a wedgetail heading along the range.  I came across a
pair of logrunners and a yellow-throated scrub-wren while heading down
Tree Fern Gully to collect water.  We didn't add too many species after
we settled down to the wine and cheese [the semillion was at just the
right temperature, while the subsequent cab sav was somewhat tannic in
an aged sort of a way].  There was barely a breath of wind and the stars
did their usual glow worm thing.  I can't say I heard any owls calling.

Sunday dawned fine and warm, and the main early challenge was finding
our way down through the cliffbreak on the north-western corner of Mt
Huntley [I normally traverse the cliffbreak the other way, and it is
easier to find going up].

The undulating ridge along to Doubletop is a pleasant ramble through
woodlands, schlerophyl and rainforests [I really like the razorback
sections through the rainforest].  We saw some sitellas in the woodland,
had a peregrine whoshing past in the euc forest, and noted a group of
satin bowerbirds in the rainforest.  The knoll to the south of Doubletop
was the locus of our third atlas sheet and the top of our exit ridge.  

This proved to be a pleasant and quick descent to Swan Ck, and Tim had a
good look at a male riflebird [shining in the sun] on the way down.  We
saw a small group of black faced woodswallows [presumably at the eastern
edge of their distribution] on our way back to the car.  

Interestingly, we didn't observe any crows in the second and third atlas
sheet areas [not often you don't atlas a crow during an area search].

Hmmm, must be time I pulled out a pencil and filled in the forms.

Regards, Laurie.
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